Kialoa Tiare Fiberglass Adjustable Review
Cons: Handle more prone to hotspots
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This paddle was designed in consultation with an expert female paddler, particularly for female paddlers. Our testers loved it — and we highly recommend it to any ladies looking to take their paddling to the next level.
Our first set of tests and evaluations looked at how the Tiare feels on the water. This paddle did exceptionally well, meriting one of the better scores of the entire pack of paddles. We based this on how much power we felt we were getting out of each product, how it felt to hold and paddle, and how cleanly it entered and exited the water.
The fiberglass shaft on the Tiare is very rigid and does a great job of effectively and efficiently transferring your power into pushing the board forward. It’s very rigid, so you aren’t wasting a bunch of energy by bending the paddle. The 10-degree offset gives you an increased effective paddling length per stroke, and the teardrop shape enters the water cleanly and easily.
However, this paddle does have a smaller overall surface area than many of the other top-tier products, so you are limited at the amount of power that you can get per paddle stroke, though it will be much less fatiguing to paddle if you don’t have a ton of upper body strength.
We also noticed that the ridges on the handle can cause hot spots or a bit more irritation than some of the smoother options.
We moved on to comparing and evaluating the heft of each paddle. Heavier paddles make longer trips much more fatiguing — even if they only tip the scales a tiny bit more than the lighter ones. The Tiare did decently well, earning a score in the middle of the group.
This paddle weighs in at 1.5 pounds or 24 ounces. The lightest carbon paddles are a little closer to 1.2 to 1.3 pounds, while the cheaper aluminum options can be as heavy as 2.2 pounds.
Ease of Adjustment
Next, we moved on to comparing and scoring how user-friendly and easy to adjust the length of each paddle is. The Kialoa Tiare did very well, earning one of the best scores out of all the paddles that we have tested.
This paddle offers up to 16 inches of adjustment, ranging from 66 inches to 82 inches. The telescoping fiberglass shafts move freely, and it’s easy to adjust the length, even on the water. We also like that this paddle offers continuous adjustment in that range, instead of discrete settings.
Moving on from the ease of adjustment, our next metric focuses on the locking mechanism of each of these adjustable paddles. The Tiare again delivered top-tier results, earning another one of the best scores.
This paddle has a LeverLock locking mechanism, which is a single lever in the center of the handle. Lift this up, and an internal mechanism releases, allowing you to adjust the length. Fold it down, and this internal mechanism locks the length in place, while the lever also conveniently lies flush with the handle.
This is by far our favorite type of locking mechanism, vastly outperforming the camlock or dual-pin paddles in our mind. We find it much sleeker and easier to use.
For our last rating metric, we — quite literally — looked at the aesthetics of each stand up paddle board paddle. This Tiare finished out the tests with another strong showing, earning an above-average score.
This paddle doesn’t have the most striking appearance, but we like the color combination and the smooth lines.
This paddle is definitely one of the more expensive options out there, so it probably isn’t a great option for anyone shopping on a tight budget.
If you are looking for a top-tier product designed with the lady paddler in mind, then we highly recommend the Kialoa Tiare. It has great paddling performance and is very convenient and easy to use, with the smaller handle and paddle blade perfect for smaller paddlers.
— Marissa Fox
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